This is a reminder that the Verizon Center signage bill (Verizon Center Graphics and Entertainment Act) is being heard by the Public Services and Consumer Affairs Committee (CM Yvette Alexander, Chair) tomorrow, on Wednesday, June 20 at Noon in Room 412 of the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) and the public is welcome to attend. To remind, the Verizon Center is proposing an extensive remake of the electronic and fixed signage that is found on the exterior of the building. If you’d like to express your opinion, you can sign up to speak at the hearing by sending an email to Ed Fisher (email@example.com) or by calling 202-741-2112 by close of business today (June 19). If you can’t attend, you can send emails indicating your position to the following City Councilmembers:
- Phil Mendelson: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Yvette Alexander: email@example.com
- Mary Cheh: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Muriel Bowser: email@example.com
- Jim Graham: firstname.lastname@example.org
We think this signage proposal (PDF presentation) is an improvement over the original signage proposal from some months ago as it was modified to respond to residents’ and business’ concerns which we applaud. We also hear that some who live or work downtown are not satisfied. Some say that the area radiating out from 7th and H Street NW should be DC’s Times Square but we don’t necessarily agree with that notion. DC is not New York and New York is not DC providing an opportunity to craft a space and place that is uniquely our own. We’re glad to hear that the audio component has been removed. And, the design aesthetic is modern. Our reservation at this point is the brightness as we did not see any technical information exhibited (i.e. number of lumens emitted or sight line assessments) that demonstrates the signs will or will not be set to an appropriate level of brightness or disrupt business and residential life. “Trust us,” they say. “Show us, ” we say. If the signs are approved, the proof will need to be in the pudding.
We well remember the drive around the Beltway to Landover, Maryland, where the Capital Centre once stood and have great memories watching Wes Unseld, John Lucas, Mike Gartner, Rod Langway, The Police, and Rush all show off their talents. And, we gladly have traded the 45 minute drive for a three block walk. But, we also need a good neighbor and trust that the Verizon Center will continue to be that good neighbor as they move forward with any changes to their operation that affects neighbors, be it in the present or the future.